Turkey + Greece

Given Bert’s teaching schedule, summers afforded more time and space to take international trips. In 1994, Bert and John, newly domestically-partnered, visited dear friends, Paola and Sertaç, in Istanbul. The above photo of Bert is, most likely, taken at the harbor in Bodrum, a coastal town where Turks vacationed (translation: a destination without a lot of tourists from the US). Visiting Bodrum required an internal flight to Dalaman Airport.


And since Greece is so close to Turkey, they thought, how cool would it be to touch down on the islands of Lesbos and Mykonos, which loom large in the collective queer historical consciousness? Turned out that scenario would require more time than was available so they opted to visit two of the easternmost Dodecanese Islands, Kos and then Rodos (Cos and Rhodes in English respectively).


An enduring undercurrent of tensions between the two countries was evident in the way Greeks spoke about Turks/Turkey and vice-versa. On the ferry boat between Kos and Rodos — both islands in super-close proximity to the western Turkish coast — the wall maps included Turkey’s monochromatic land mass but did not label it.

While in Tigaki, a beach town seven miles from the city of Kos, B.Michael awoke in the middle of the night to wrote a poem.

Below are some scrapbook items — which include unexpected words like “saloon” and “tango” — as well as a lot of terms translated into German, given that Turkey was, at least at that time, a popular destination for German tourists.




More photos from this trip are viewable here!


B.Michael’s father, Bertram Meredith Hunter, was born in Deerfield, Florida, a community of immigrants from the Bahamas. In August 1993, B.Michael was able to visit the Bahamas for the first time with his lover John.

The only remaining memorabilia from that trip are HIV/AIDS-related materials gathered at the office of the Bahamian Ministry of Health.


This bumper sticker may have been a joint venture with the Ministry of Tourism!


More photos from this trip are viewable here!